25 Good Manners For Kids To Learn And Follow

check_icon Research-backed

“Good manners are appreciated as much as bad manners are abhorred.” – Bryant H. McGill

Good manners for kids are fundamental standards of practice that teach children how to act in a social setting. This knowledge is necessary for the development of an attractive personality, optimistic attitude, and socially acceptable behavior. It also aids in inculcating socializing and emotional skills, and moral values in kids. To acquire good manners, a youngster requires ongoing motivation, instruction, and support. This post discusses manners, their significance for children, and simple ways to instill them in your child.

In This Article

Importance Of Teaching Good Manners To Children

Good manners and social etiquette help the child learn how to behave appropriately in different situations. Furthermore, they help (1) (2):

  1. Teach the child to behave respectfully and be courteous with everyone, including those younger than them.
  1. Make positive relationships with elders, peers, and juniors, essential for personal, social, and emotional development.
  1. Enhance confidence and self-esteem by developing a socially appreciated demeanor.
  1. Boost communication skills that are necessary for academic and professional growth of the child.
  1. Raise a responsible child who puts moral values in practical use and takes socially accountable decisions that benefit the society.
  1. Shape a positive personality that keeps a child happy, cheerful, and motivated.

Ingraining manners in your child is an evolving process, and it needs time, patience, and persistent efforts. Following some simple ways and the right approach can help you do it with ease.

Ways To Teach Good Manners To Children

Guiding your child to practice good manners is an important task that needs your active involvement. Here are some simple steps that can ensure smooth and effective learning (3) (4).

  1. Practice what you preach as children learn from their parents and families. So, be their role models and set the right examples by greeting your elders, friends, family, and strangers with kindness, compassion, generosity, and respect. Be accommodative to others’ requirements. Modeling is vital as children readily learn from elders.
  1. Teach moral values that form a basis to choose the right attitude and behavior. Instilling self-control, compassion, kindness, and empathy teaches a child to stay calm and respond positively towards others even when they feel anxious, impatient, or angry.
  1. Help them practice their learning in practical situations. Guidance is required on practicing table etiquette, keeping oneself clean, talking politely with others, and seeking permission wherever necessary.
  1. Acknowledge good manners and praise your child whenever they are well-behaved. Share it with other family members and let them appreciate the child, too. It will help boost the child’s self-esteem and confidence and motivate them to do better. It will also reinforce the positive behaviors and make it more likely that they will engage in them in the future.
  1. Give constructive feedback to correct a behavior whenever necessary. Do not shout or be aggressive to correct the mistake. Instead, discuss negative behavior that you observed and suggest ways for improvement.
  1. Use different media smartly to help children learn manners. Rhymes, poems, moral stories, and cartoon shows can help your child learn manners joyfully. All they need during this process is your guidance.

Following these steps persistently can help children learn good manners effectively. 

25 Must-Learn Good Manners For Children

From a simple thank you to a selfless act of kindness, children with good manners become respected individuals with a rewarding and happy life. Expressing her appreciation for the lessons she learned as a child, Angela Barnard, an author, and cynical optimist, says, “My parents taught me how to say please and thank you, how to respect my elders and those around me, how to engage with others socially through kindness and compassion. They did not leave these things up to chance but were actively engaged parents, ensuring that I understood what normal acceptable social behavior was. Therefore, seeing as they got the basics right, they also gave me a foundation upon which I could build my life (i).”

So read through to know the ABCs of good manners and instill them in your children from an early age.

1. Be kind and helpful to all

Image: Shutterstock

Be kind, generous, helpful, and empathetic to another person’s problems, and provide prompt help without any prerequisites. Sharing food with a classmate who forgot to bring his/her lunch, helping an older person cross the road, or assisting their mother in daily chores are some acts that can guide your child to be helpful.

2. Be polite to everyone

Politeness is a vital social skill that teaches your child to acknowledge another person’s feelings and talk respectfully. Be it a face-to-face conversation or phone call, teach your child to talk soft and clear. Motivate them to use words like “thank you,” “sorry,” “please,” “excuse me,” and “may I” in their daily conversation, from a young age.

protip_icon Quick tip
Children always look up to their parents while growing up. So when you go out with your children, treat everyone respectfully, especially the underprivileged such as the waiters and security staff. Your children may pick up these good habits and follow suit.

3. Be honest in every situation

Image: Shutterstock

Teach honesty to your child by always being honest with them. It helps them observe and realize the ease of accepting mistakes over covering up and lying. Also, praise your child for their honesty whenever such instances occur and share how proud you feel.

4. Practice sharing

Sharing one’s belongings, time, or other tangible and intangible items is an essential part of social living. It serves as a mark of care and compassion that boosts socio-emotional development. Participating in charity activities and sharing favorite toys/books/foods with siblings, cousins, and peers are a few ways to make the learning real.

5. Make introductions

Image: Shutterstock

Making a proper introduction is an essential social skill that provides a way to initiate a conversation with others. Greet the person, share your name, and ask their name – these are the basic steps for children to progress towards more formal introductions. Motivate your child to introduce themselves to guests during social gatherings.

6. Listen carefully and wait for your turn

Listening carefully to others and taking turns to talk demonstrate respect for the person and the conversation. Teach your child to listen patiently from a young age as it helps in self-regulation and proper communication.

7. Make eye contact while talking

Image: Shutterstock

Making eye contact while talking is a sign of attention and respect towards the speaker and the conversation. Teach your child to avoid looking away, fiddling with hair, or chewing their nails during a conversation. Show them how doing so looks disrespectful and rude.

8. Respond to a question promptly

Responding to someone’s queries is a sign of acknowledgment and respect, whereas ignoring it is considered bad manners. Train your child to respond promptly by practicing the same with them. Listen to your child, acknowledge what they say, and respond appropriately.

9. Seek permission before taking anything

Image: Shutterstock

Asking for permission is a mark of respect to the individual, their personal space, and privacy. Knocking the door before entering someone’s room, seeking permission before using someone’s belongings, like phone or pen, and starting a formal conversation with words, like “shall we start” or “may I” are good examples to follow.

10. Cover mouth while coughing or sneezing

Coughing and sneezing are potential ways of spreading infection. Thus, covering your mouth using a napkin, handkerchief, or mask while sneezing or coughing is considered hygienic and good manners. Teach your child to practice this habit from a young age.

11. Learn to seek apology

Image: Shutterstock

Sneezing between a conversation, burping during a meal, laughing aloud at a quiet place, and breaking an item by mistake are instances where seeking apology is a mark of respect. Guide your child to use words like “excuse me,” “I am sorry,” “I apologize,” and “pardon me” whenever such instances occur. Tell them that an apology is a way to acknowledge mistakes respectfully.

12. Do not stare or point at anyone

Children stare and point at things or people out of amazement or curiosity. They are not aware that doing so can make someone feel uncomfortable and intimidated. Therefore, it is important to tell them that staring and pointing at others is bad manners.

13. Take care of elders

Image: Shutterstock

Caring and respecting elders is essential learning that makes a child responsible and dependable. Helping parents in daily chores, like folding clothes, cleaning the house, cooking food, and setting the table, are examples that children can follow.

protip_icon Point to consider
Encourage your children to volunteer at any charity organization. This may help in teaching them to be compassionate and respectful towards everyone.

14. Do not make fun of others

Laughing at someone’s weaknesses or bullying them for fun is insensitive, disrespectful, and hurtful. Teaching compassion, kindness, and sensitivity can help a child acknowledge others’ flaws and weaknesses respectfully.

15. Practice phone etiquette

Image: Shutterstock

Greeting the other person on a call and listening to them carefully while they talk is good manners. Instruct your child to keep their tone soft and voice audible while talking on the phone. For closing the call, help them practice words, like “goodbye” or “thanks for calling” appropriately.

16. Use honorific titles

Encourage your child to use honorific titles, like “Mr” and “Ms” before calling an elder by their last name. Honorific titles are used to refer to a person with respect. In some cultures, calling “sir” or “mam” may be preferred. So, guide your child appropriately.

17. Follow sportsmanship

Image: Shutterstock

The sportsman spirit is all about acknowledging another person’s success with grace and humility. This ethical practice makes a child disciplined and resilient to avoid negative emotions, like jealousy, hatred, and revenge that might lead to unethical behavior, like cheating.

18. Do not mistreat differently abled

Individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory disabilities are known as differently abled. Teach your child to treat such people with compassion, kindness, and respect to make them feel confident.

19. Be a considerate guest

Image: Shutterstock

A good guest adheres to their host’s house rules and maintains the necessary decorum. Speaking and listening to the host respectfully, observing and following their table manners, helping in household chores, and thanking the host family before leaving are a few examples to discuss and put to practice from a young age.

20. Never argue with elders

Arguing with elders should be discouraged from a young age. Encourage them to practice self-regulation, patience, and perseverance whenever they experience frustration towards a decision made by elders. Motivate your child to share their issues, concerns, and problems through healthy discussions.

21. Follow table manners

Image: Shutterstock

Guide your child to follow table manners and etiquettes from a young age. Begin with simple rules, like not to speak while chewing food, put a napkin on the lap, chew with your mouth closed, say “please pass…” if you need something, etc. As the child grows, progress towards formal rules, like the correct way to hold a fork and knife, etc.

22. Do not use foul language

Young children observe and imitate what they hear or see. Therefore, refrain from using foul language or inappropriate gestures in front of the child. Children may pick foul words at school or while playing with friends. Teach your child never to use such words. Discuss and explain how foul language can be disrespectful and hurtful to others.

23. Maintain adequate hygiene

Image: Shutterstock

Washing hands before and after meals, washing fruits before eating, not spitting on the roads, throwing waste in the dustbin, etc., are some basic habits that are considered good manners. Guide and train your child to follow these habits to become a socially responsible individual.

24. Write thank-you notes

Writing a thank-you note is an important social etiquette that shows your gratitude, respect, and affection for someone’s gift or service. Involving your child in writing a gracious thank-you note can help them understand its importance effectively. This also helps them cultivate the ability to practice gratitude.

25. Return the borrowed items

Image: Shutterstock

Whether it is a pencil, pen, dress, book, or lunchbox, train your child to be responsible and return the borrowed item as soon as its use is over. Remind them to thank the person who lent them the object. Practicing this basic habit is considered a good manner since it displays courtesy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s another word for good manners?

Other words that embody good manners include, respect, graciousness, etiquette, politeness, courtesy, and social graces.

2. Are good manners important to lead a successful life?

Good manners are a key factor in leading a successful life. They not only help create a positive impression on those around you, but also foster self-confidence and self-esteem by providing positive feedback on your behavior. So, practicing good manners is a great way to set yourself up for success!

3. What are some common examples of bad manners in kids and how can they be corrected?

Frequent interruptions while speaking, not saying “please” and “thank you,” poor table manners, not respecting personal space, being impolite, and not listening attentively, are a few examples of bad manners in children. They can be corrected by leading by example, communicating your expectations, reinforcing positive behavior, and encouraging empathy.

4. At what age should parents start teaching good manners to their children?

Parents can start teaching good manners to their children as soon as they learn to speak, as it is never too early to introduce basic etiquette. However, remember that every child develops at their own pace, so adapt the teaching approach to your child’s abilities and understanding.

5. What role do schools play in teaching good manners to kids?

Schools provide a structured setting where children regularly interact with their peers and teachers. This socialization helps children develop social skills, rules and manners through daily interactions, group activities, discipline, guidance, and teamwork.

6. How can parents handle situations where their child exhibits bad manners in public?

First, parents need to remain calm and composed in such situations. Also, address the behavior privately as it avoids shaming or embarrassing them. Parents can also provide immediate feedback to help them convey the impact of their actions on others and encourage apologizing for their mistakes.

7. What examples of non-verbal communication can convey good manners, and how can parents teach their children to recognize them?

Maintaining eye contact when speaking or listening to others, smiling, good posture and body language, active listening, good table manners, and appropriate dressing are non-verbal cues conveying good manners. Parents can explain what each non-verbal cue represents, engage in role-playing scenarios, and lead by example for their children to learn.

It is necessary to teach good manners to kids to avoid embarrassment in social settings. Young children may not be aware of right and wrong manners. Hence, you should teach them proper manners, such as being noble, helpful, and polite, respecting others, sharing, being honest, seeking permission, and responding to questions. You could also teach them how to introduce themselves, make good eye contact, and listen and wait for their turn. Moreover, since parents are role models for children, set a good example for your little ones to help them imbibe these manners faster.

Infographic: Teaching Good Manners To Children

Good manners form the basis for good behavior and the long-term personality development of a child. You can save this infographic for it gives the essential information about:

  • Good manners children must learn
  • Ways to teach good manners to children
ways to teach good manners to children (Infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Good manners go a long way in shaping children into good human beings and role models.
  • Manners and etiquette are key to success in life as knowledge without character is futile.
  • Being kind, helping, and apologizing are a few essential manners that every child must imbibe.

Good manners are important for kids to learn. This video can teach kids good manners in all spheres of life.

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Good Manners; Michigan State University
2. The power of good manners; Michigan State University
3. Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen; Institute of Education Sciences
4. How to Teach Good Behavior: Tips for Parents; AAFP

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.